With the holiday season upon us, houses, storefronts, and streets are strung up with bows, tinsel, and twinkling lights. Even campgrounds across the U.S. receive the holiday makeover, from the snow-covered shores of coastal Maine to the deserts of California. What’s better than falling asleep to nature doused in holiday cheer?
Here are some of the most dazzling holiday light displays at or near campgrounds in the U.S.
1. Augusta West Kampground, Winthrop, Maine
Maine is a winter wonderland come November and December, especially at a quaint getaway like Augusta West Kampground in Winthrop, Maine. Situated on Annabessacook Lake, Augusta West Kampground is home to the perfect backdrop for its first annual Winter Wonderland celebration.
Details are coming soon from the family-run campground, but guests can expect about 1 mile of large displays and sparkling trees from November 27 through the New Year.
2. Virginia Beach KOA, Virginia Beach, Virginia
Virginia Beach KOA’s Lights of Christmas display is celebrating its second year, and the campground goes all out for the holidays from November 20 to December 31. For $25 per vehicle and $50 per RV, you can drive through the light display and see the campground dressed up in red, green, white, and gold lights.
The admission fee also gives visitors access to Christmas Village, which features a large campfire, food and drink vendors, pre-cut Christmas trees for sale, and more holiday festivities.
3. Anastasia State Park, St. Augustine, Florida
St. Augustine makes up for the lack of winter weather with its annual Nights of Lights, a free event where the historic city shines and twinkles under the all-white hues of lights strung from palm trees, piers, and mansions.
Campers can spend the night at Anastasia State Park, which is perfectly located near the city’s festivities and the ocean with six loops of campsites.
4. Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort, Santa Claus, Indiana
Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort hosts one of the largest holiday light shows in North America. From November 25 to December 27, spend $15 per vehicle to witness the only light show in the country that tells Rudolph’s story through elaborately designed lights and storyboards.
In a place like Santa Claus, Indiana, you can expect a full holiday experience. If you’re looking to stay overnight at the campground, you can do so only in the cabins on weekends.
5. Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in Caledonia, Caledonia, Wisconsin
This Jellystone Park is home to the region’s “biggest, brightest, and most dazzling drive-thru holiday light show,” according to the campground’s website. Depending on the size of your vehicle, tickets range from $30 to $110 to drive a 1.6-mile loop. The loop features over 2 million individual light bulbs that are individually strung by the campground owners.
The Christmas Carnival of Lights begins November 27 and runs through January 1. You’ll have to find alternative RV accommodations as the campground is closed for the season.
6. Angel Fire RV Resort, Taos, New Mexico
Yuletide is the name for Taos’ unique New Mexican celebrations during the holiday season. Stay at the luxurious Angel Fire RV Resort and learn about the Native history of the town during the holiday months. The snow-covered mountains and adobe homes are illuminated by the wintertime ski town’s light displays.
In addition to the holiday light displays, Taos celebrates the season from Thanksgiving to New Years with a holiday market arts and crafts fair, Christmas party, tree lighting, bonfires, and other festive events.
7. Belle Campground, Twentynine Palms, California
Belle Campground is situated near the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, home of the WildLights holiday light display. WildLights is a celebration of the holidays and the zoo seen through sparkling lights, animal lanterns, decorated model trains, and a maze of paths and tunnels lit to the tune of holiday songs. Tickets are priced at $16 and the display runs from November 24 to December 30.
The campground is located in Joshua Tree National Park with access to other outdoor activities.
8. Two Rivers Landing RV Resort, Sevierville, Tennessee
Head to eastern Tennessee for Smoky Mountain Winterfest in the towns of Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg. Drive through a 25-mile stretch with more than 15 million lights for this annual celebration that runs from November 12, 2021 to February 22, 2022. Other festive activities include Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland at Smokies Stadium, an outdoor skating rink at Wilderness at the Smokies Waterpark Resort, Sevierville’s Christmas Parade, and the Santa Hustle Smokies 5K & Half Marathon. Plus, area shopping is plentiful for all of your gift buying.
Located in Sevierville, Two Rivers Landing RV Resort is open year-round and serves as an ideal home base to explore the region during the holiday season.